From Gen Z to boomers: 10 cities attracting each generation

While Gen Xers and baby boomers flock to warm weather in Arizona and Texas, significant shares of young people are clinging to the coasts, according to a recent series of analyses from SmartAsset. 

The financial technology company analyzed data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, ranking 268 of the largest U.S. cities based on the percentage of the total population represented by four generations — Gen Zers, millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers — who moved into the city in 2022. 

Their research found that college towns (understandably) gained the most Gen Zers in 2022, while cities Cambridge, Mass., and Santa Clara, Calif., which offer prestigious scholastic and tech opportunities, attracted the most millennials. Gen Xers and baby boomers — many of whom are now empty nesters or have settled into retirement — seemed to prioritize temperate climates and recreational opportunities. 

Here are the 10 cities gaining the most residents from each age group, according to SmartAsset: 

Gen Z (ages 18-24)

1. Ann Arbor, Mich. 

2. Provo, Utah

3. Boulder, Colo. 

4. College Station, Texas

5. Athens, Ga. 

6. Tallahassee, Fla. 

7. Berkeley, Calif. 

8. Gainesville, Fla. 

9. Columbia, S.C.

10. Syracuse, N.Y. 

Millennials (ages 25-44)

1. Cambridge, Mass. 

2. Santa Clara, Calif. 

3. Seattle 

4. Sunnyvale, Calif. 

5. Denver 

6. Arlington, Va. 

7. Bellevue, Wash. 

8. Killeen, Texas

9. Austin, Texas

10. Sandy Springs, Ga. 

Gen X (ages 45-54):

1. Surprise, Ariz. 

2. Bend, Ore. 

3. Scottsdale, Ariz. 

4. Orlando, Fla. 

5. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 

6. St. George, Utah

7. Jackson, Miss. 

8. Wichita Falls, Texas

9. Hartford, Conn. 

10. Hialeah, Fla. 

Baby boomers (ages 55-74)

1. Clearwater, Fla. 

2. Reno, Nev.

3. Orlando, Fla. 

4. Cape Coral, Fla. 

5. Billings, Mont. 

6. Surprise, Ariz. 

7. Henderson, Nev. 

8. Mesa, Ariz. 

9. High Point, N.C. 

10. St. Petersburg, Fla.

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